Harlingen man missing for 80 years nearly finished required WWII combat runs

The following is an excerpt from myRGV.gov, written by Travis Whitehead. All images are also courtesy of myRGV.com, unless otherwise noted.

HARLINGEN — It’s a darker time and a sinister time as Nazi Germany spreads its hatred across Europe.

The year 1940 is a rough year as the German war machine indulges Adolf Hitler’s hate and his delusional ambitions. They spread the fragmentation of his hate as German panzers and ground troops slam into France and Belgium and Holland.

Their almost inhuman stamina and ferocity shocks everyone. History later reveals these troops were jacked up on methamphetamine. The Luftwaffe providing air power to this murderous rampage is commanded by a morphine addict named Hermann Goering.

Back home, a young man named Porter Pile is quietly attending classes at Texas A&M University in Kingsville, says his nephew Randy Fleuriet, husband of long-time school board member Gerry Fleuriet. He’s close enough to Harlingen that he can surely come home often enough to see his parents Leo and Helen and his sisters Virginia and Rozanne.

Brett Porter Morgan, another nephew, recalled his mother was very close to her brother and looked up to him. When his plane was shot down over Germany in 1944 she took it especially hard, so much so that she gave her son the middle name Porter after her brother.

The preceding ten years had been hard on everybody. The Great Depression sent everyone spiraling and then scrambling and finally rethinking how to do life. Perhaps this rethinking and reworking and this doing more with less prepared many for the wars on the horizon…

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